Bobby (Willem Dafoe) reminds the children in 2017’s The Florida Project: “One drip and you’re out.” He warns them about dripping ice cream over the floor in the motel office. While Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) and Scooty (Christopher Rivera) are very hesitant, they unwillingly listen to his orders and take their mess outside.
“Willem is the best, I love him. I feel so incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to work alongside such an acting legend for so many reasons, but I really appreciated how patient he was with me during my learning process on set and how much he challenged me during our scenes,” acknowledges Bria Vinaite, who plays Halley in the film, a single mother raising a six-year-old in a cheap motel outside of Orlando. “In one of the scenes when Halley is going through it, I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to pull off that kind of vitriol but Willem kept yelling at me right before we shot that I got so heated, and by the end, I was fully in character!”
“Halley’s character resonated with me strongly in that she is a strong and resourceful woman with good intentions – in Halley’s case, she does what she can with the hand she has been dealt to keep faithful to her commitment to Moonee,” Vinaite comments, referring to Halley. “So, we’re both strong, resourceful, with good intentions, love our family…and smoking weed, duh.”
One thing you often see in the movie is Halley smoking cigarettes and marijuana. Vinaite says marijuana has helped her in so many ways, which we also see on her Instagram story, as well. (As for cigarettes, however, she made the switch to e-cigarettes last year.) “Recently, I have been most grateful for marijuana because of its anti-anxiety properties and the way it helps me calm down,” she shares. “I’m always on the go now, from shoots to meetings to interviews, that it’s easy to get super-overwhelmed! Marijuana helps relax me just in the right way so I can focus my attention on all these blessings and keep a smile on my face!”
One of the major arguments against the legalization of cannabis is, though, that a gateway to harder drugs. “No way. 100% absolutely incorrect! That’s one reason why I love CBD creams and other topicals so much because it tangibly proves the healing properties of the herb and its versatility – the stigma surrounding it is so antiquated and grounded in so many things that are just not true,” Vinaite quickly responds. “It’s super-important for people who have integrated marijuana into a productive lifestyle to speak up about their usage so we can work towards decreasing the stigma and eventual federal legalization.” And yes, she declares with a laugh that she is a fan of CBD. “Honestly, I feel like CBD exists in so many awesome forms, I’m too busy scrolling through all of them to find my favorite, but I’m typically loving topical CBD and capsules,” she says.